General

Harley-Davidson want your input at the NEC

Your chance to shape the future of Harley in Europe

A new Harley-Davidson prototype will make its UK debut at the NEC Bike Show and, once you've seen it, Harley-Davidson want you to visit their website and tell them exactly what you think about the new model. If the feedback from British bikers is good, then the new high performance Harley concept could make it into production and be in dealerships as early as next year.

Clearly focused on Europe, Harley-Davidson has chosen Europe " not the USA " for the world premiere of its new, high performance XR 1200 Prototype.

First seen at Intermot in Cologne earlier this month, the UK showing at the NEC is to allow Harley-Davidson to gauge media and public reaction to a new kind of Harley-Davidson " one with an emphasis on performance, handling and sporting style.

The development goals for the XR 1200 Prototype were clear: to make Harley-Davidson's most powerful regular production, European specification, air-cooled V-Twin engine; give excellent handling, suspension and braking, all fine-tuned for European roads; and carry the styling inspired by the Motor Company's legendary XR 750 dirt track race bike.

The specification list is impressive for a Harley, with a 1200cc high performance engine, in as-cast silver powdercoat, featuring specially developed sports tuned Showa suspension, including 43mm inverted front forks, Nissin brakes, downdraft fuel injection and electronically controlled active air intake system. The prototype 'wears' specially developed Dunlop Qualifier tyres (front 120/70ZR18; rear 180/55ZR17) and XR 750-inspired styling and livery. The wheels are lightweight cast with dirt track-inspired design. With around 85-90hp expected from the 1200cc, downdraft fuel injected engine, coupled with a generous lean angle, the XR 1200 Prototype could certainly become the best handling Harley-Davidson regular production machine ever seen.

Visordown talked to Harley-Davidson's UK marketing director, Allan Brownridge, who commented:

"We are going through an exciting growth period across Europe and we are sure that the XR1200, in much the same way that the V-Rod motorcycles did, will appeal to new customers, including younger riders currently riding sports motorcycles."

Enforcing the racing heritage behind the XR 1200, Brownridge added:

"Since 1970 Harley-Davidson has won a record 26 Flat Track championship titles with the legendary XR 750. The similarities with the XR 1200 Prototype are plain to see and its DNA can be traced straight back to the XR 750 race bike, although we did decide that adding a front brake would be sensible!"

The XR 1200 certainly looks a purposeful package and, if you want the chance to experience this unique high performance Harley-Davidson, log onto www.harley-davidson.co.uk and take part in the XR 1200 feature survey.

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